Employees’ salaries in Slovakia are too low, hence the minimum wage should be hiked to more than EUR 600 and there is also need to regulate cheap labor from abroad, members of the OZ KOVO trade union stated at a press conference on Thursday. The unionists also announced protest activities over low salaries, slated in eastern Slovakia for late-April/early-May. OZ KOVO board-of-directors member Jozef Balica claimed that according to statistics for Q3’18, the average monthly salary in Slovakia nets EUR755 with half of employees receiving EUR670 net in 2017, which was too low to support a dignified life. Balica pointed to the European Social Charter, which recommends minimum wage to stand at 60% of average salary, equaling in Slovakia EUR635 before taxes. OZ KOVO vice-chair Monika Benedekova underlined that the objective of the salary hikes is mostly to rid Slovakia of the stigma or label of a cheap labor country as everyone who claimed that cheap labor provides a competitive advantage for Slovakia does not have good intentions. She added that the union is not against employing foreigners in Slovakia but that the wage conditions should not be discriminatory against Slovak employees either. Benedekova noted that the trade unions want this issue to be regulated in some way, adding that social and wage dumping should be also regulated, possibly by a law as in some EU countries.